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People return home after massive Friday night fire in Lynchburg

The fire department still has not confirmed the cause of the fire

Dozens of residents have returned to their apartments on Saturday after a candle shop next door caught on fire in Lynchburg.

LYNCHBURG, Va.UPDATE

Dozens of residents have returned to their apartments on Saturday after a candle shop next door caught on fire in Lynchburg Friday night.

This comes after the Cottage Stillroom went up in flames on Cabell Street, sending residents nearby to find shelter elsewhere. But while the apartments were barely touched by the fire, the four-and-a-half-story candle shop is severely damaged.

The heavy smell of char along with the sight of broken glass, damaged bricks and elevator hardware barely hanging on remains after the massive fire. An Appalachian Power worker took a photo of the building’s roof completely collapsed.

Shaun Pico said he was walking his dog on the night of the fire when he heard an odd popping sound.

“I looked up and there was smoke coming out of the building right here,” he said. “So, we ran over and I saw there was a fire. I sprinted up. And I live in an exterior apartment, so I just banged on the window and told my wife to call 911.”

Pico then helped rescue the candle shop owner who suffered minor burns on her arm.

Shelby Plourde, an apartment resident, said she heard about the fire after a hysterical call from her roommate.

“And I said I’m sorry what,” Plourde said. “I think it took us 15, 20 minutes to get back before our building texted us about anything. So we got back and kind of just walked in and walked up so I can try to get my friend’s dog out of the unit.”

The power was cut, forcing residents to seek shelter at a hotel or with family like Katie Smith did.

“I was more worried about getting stuff out of the apartment and you know smoke damage and everything,” Smith said. “So luckily I have a place to say.”

When power was restored Saturday afternoon residents returned to their homes, but the main entrance is still blocked with a flood of water, including the candle shop.

The fire department still has not confirmed the cause of the fire as the investigation is ongoing.

To reenter, Assistant Fire Marshal Matt O’Daniel tells 10 News it will take a couple of days for the water inside the building to recede.

A GoFundMe was created to help support the candle shop owner.


ORIGINAL STORY

Crews are working to put out a fire right outside downtown Lynchburg Friday evening.

Crews are working to put out a fire right outside downtown Lynchburg Friday evening.

The Lynchburg Fire Batallion Chief told 10 News that the building affected is a business right next to an apartment complex on Cabell Street. The chief believes the business affected was some sort of candle shop.

We’re told one person is hurt, but they are expected to be okay.

Residents of the apartment complex are probably not allowed to return to their homes Friday night since officials had to cut the electricity, per the battalion chief.-

Officials have closed down 5th Street going towards Amherst County will be closed at Main Street as crews work to extinguish the fire.

Smoke billowing due to a building fire on Cabell Street in Lynchburg (Carrie Tyler)

Stay with 10 News for this breaking story.


About the Authors:

Kortney joined the 10 News team as a Lynchburg Bureau Reporter in May 2021.

Nicole Del Rosario joined WSLS 10 in August 2020.